By: Jim H. Yohe, Jr.
While we were working in the largest gold mine in the Western Hemisphere, the Homestake Gold Mine of Lead, SD, several UPC home missionary pastors and myself often spiritualized the work we were doing
to mine gold out of a mountain 8,000 feet below the earth’s surface.
Why is gold so universally valuable? Mainly, because it is scarce. Gold is beautiful, a soft pliable metal that is easy to work with; it can be molded into anything. Gold will not tarnish; it is resistant to chemicals and has a natural metallic glow.
In the Book of Revelation, the Lord counseled the Laodicean church “to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich…” (Revelation 3:18). God wants a beautiful church, a church He can work
with to shape into His image. He desires a church that resists the influences of the world and does not compromise its convictions or tarnish its spirituality. The church has an inherent spiritual glow, a
light that shines even in darkness. But the church in Laodicea had traded its true gold for worthless goods of this world.
The experts tell us that 24 karat gold is pure gold, yet most objects made of gold are made of 18 karat. When they dilute pure gold with another material, the metal is of less value. However, gold becomes hard
when it is mixed with other metals.
However useful diluted gold is to mankind, God is not interested in “diluted gold” in His church. He wants pure gold purified by fire. When our lives are mixed with worldliness, we soon become hardened against
God; we lose our receptive and pliable attitude toward His divine will and touch. We cease then to be His spiritual people.
While working at Homestake Gold Mine, I learned that it takes 10,000 pounds of ore to produce one ounce of gold-approximately the size of an average chocolate chip. To mine one ounce of gold requires a lot of
machine and man-power. And the process has only begun, for the ore then must be processed through fire before the gold becomes pure.
In like manner, a Christian must view trials, tribulations, heartaches, and suffering as part of the process that makes his life as pure gold. Job declared, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried
me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
The apostle Peter, who tradition tells us suffered a martyr’s death, wrote that the trial of our faith is worth more than gold: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:7).
An unusual thing happened when Moses and Joshua descended Mt. Sinai to find the people of Israel dancing before a golden calf. Moses destroyed the calf by burning it in the fire, grinding it to powder, and throwing it in the stream of water (Exodus 32:19-20). A little known fact is this: whenever gold is ground into fine powder and mixed with water, the water turns blood red! And Moses made the people to drink the water!
This incident in Israel’s sacred history may be a type or symbol of Calvary. The people of Israel had to drink the blood-red water, apparently as a way to obtain forgiveness of their sin. Today we are saved only through the blood of Jesus Christ. The incident also demanded a decision. Moses demanded, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” And it was a time of consecration. The Levites executed about three thousand men who failed to seek forgiveness and consecrate to the Lord.
Today we have a choice: either we accept the forgiveness of our sins through the blood of Jesus or we will die in our sins.
One last comment about gold: it is used in conducting electricity. Though other materials and synthetics are most often used for electrical conduction, we are told that nothing conducts electric power as well as
gold! When a church becomes pure gold, separating itself from evils in this world, God will conduct through it healing power, saving power, and delivering power; the church will bind up the wounds of the lost and dying multitude in its community.
The counsel of Jesus both encourages and challenges us “to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich” (Revelation 3:18). Let us follow His counsel.
(The above material appeared in the December 1992 issue of Pentecostal Herald.)
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